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ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
Information about experiences of physical assault, threatened assault and robbery was collected for persons aged 15 years and over, and information about sexual assault was collected for persons aged 18 years and over.
Diagram 1: Types of personal crime included in the Crime Victimisation Survey
Household crime in the Crime Victimisation Survey refers to crimes, or offences, that were committed with the intention of depriving a person of, or damaging, their personal property.
The household crimes included in the survey were:
When referring to victims of these types of crime, it is the household as a whole that is considered the victim, rather than a specific individual within the household.
Diagram 2: Types of household crime included in the Crime Victimisation Survey
WHAT IS A 'VICTIM'?
For the Crime Victimisation Survey, a victim is a person or household who has experienced at least one incident of a selected type of crime in the 12 months prior to interview in 2017–18. While state and territory legislative definitions of these crime types may differ, the survey questions define them in terms of specific behaviours and actions to ensure consistency in definitions and responses across jurisdictions. For example, a respondent was counted as a victim of physical assault if they reported they had experienced 'physical force or violence' against their person. Responses therefore reflect individual respondents' subjective understanding of the survey questions and their own interpretation of their experiences.
Although a respondent may have experienced more than one incident of a given crime type in the reference period, they are only counted once as a victim of the crime type.
WHAT IS AN 'INCIDENT'?
An incident is a single occurrence of a criminal event, such as a break-in to a household or an assault of a person. In any particular incident, a number of different crime types may be committed against a person or household. The Crime Victimisation Survey collects separate information about each selected offence that occurs within an incident.
For instance, a person might confront someone breaking into their home and deliberately damaging property and subsequently be assaulted during that same incident.
In this example, the person would be counted as a victim of physical assault, and the household would be counted as a victim of each break-in and malicious property damage (as demonstrated in Diagram 3).
Diagram 3: Breakdown of incident recording
WHAT IS MULTIPLE VICTIMISATION?
People and households may experience more than one criminal incident in the 12 months prior to interview, which may involve the same crime type or differing crime types. For the Crime Victimisation Survey, 'multiple victimisation' refers to experiences of more than one incident of the same crime type within the 12 months prior to interview. For example, for the purposes of this survey a person who reports experiencing physical assault on three separate occasions within the reference period is considered as having experienced multiple victimisation for physical assault. Where a person or household experienced multiple victimisation, specific details (e.g. relationship to the offender, the type of property stolen or defaced) are only collected for the most recent incident of each crime type experienced by the person or household.
Statistics about multiple victimisation are presented as a categorical variable in this publication, based on the number of incidents of each crime type experienced by victims.
HOW IS RESPONDENT CONFIDENTIALITY PROTECTED IN THIS PUBLICATION?
To minimise the risk of identifying individuals in aggregate statistics, a confidentiality technique called perturbation is used to randomly adjust cell values. Perturbation involves small random adjustment of the statistics and is considered the most satisfactory technique for avoiding the release of identifiable statistics while maximising the range of information that can be released. These adjustments have a negligible impact on the underlying pattern of the statistics. Perturbation has been applied to data from 2013-14 onwards.
Where the same statistic is published more than once in different tables it is perturbed in the same way to ensure consistency across tables. However, cell values may not add up to totals within the same table as a result of perturbation.
COMPARISONS WITH OTHER ABS CRIME SOURCES
The ABS publishes crime statistics drawn from a range of sources, all with differing measurement methodologies, which can yield different results. As such, caution should be exercised when making comparisons between different data sources. For more information, see the Data Comparability section in the Explanatory Notes.
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